The days of competing simply on price or the quality of your product are gone. This is the era of the customer experience. And their voices and opinions regarding their experience will be heard, if not by you, by everyone they know and your competitors.
In our ultra-connected online world, consumers have unparalleled choice and access to alternatives to your business. And they have unparalleled power to instantly amplify their voice.
Think of customer experience as how each customer experiences your brand. From their first visit to your website to the point they purchase through to when they contact your company for support. Every interaction, every touch point — from your packaging to how easy your phone number is to remember — adds to that customer experience.
Getting Inside your Customer’s Head
Customers are willing to pay for a superior experience. A 2011 Harris Interactive Survey found that a whopping 86% of consumers are willing to pay for a “better” customer experience.
If customer experience is the currency of our global economy, how does your company stack up? What story does your brand tell as it interacts with customers every single day?
There’s only one way to find out.
You need to ask!
Enter real-time customer research. Instead of guessing what your customers are thinking or making assumptions that cost the company, you have real-time customer data at every significant touch point.
Customer data is collated when the event actually happens so you can catch negative and positive trends as they emerge. Small things such as a shipping glitch from the California office can be identified and addressed while big things like an entire product line being on the way to sell out and you need more stock, are flagged as they happen. With this intelligence the company can make decisions quickly, leading to smarter sales cycles and ultimately, enhance customer experience.
Not convinced? A 2012 Aberdeen Research study found that customers “successfully leveraging VoC programs within their customer management activities accomplish year-over-year performance gains such as a 28.3% increase in annual company revenue and 14.5% increase in customer satisfaction.
Not All Voice of Customer Data is Created Equal
Measuring and understanding customer service through Voice of Customer surveys can help generate 100s of millions of dollars for large companies, which is why you don’t want to mess around. The quality of the data, and the ability to analyze results so you can take action on areas that impact customer experience is the key.
In short, not all Voice of the Customer data is created equal. First and foremost, you need to ask the right questions. This is not something to leave in the hands of your brand spanking new intern who doesn’t know the Voice of Customer data from Fantasy Football League rankings.
Voice of the Customer data goes much further than looking at the customer’s level of satisfaction and goes into understanding the customer’s mission, goals and values along with their level of success in dealing with the company. Data needs to be aggregated across customer touch points including chat logs, emails, call center recordings, social media comments/interaction, how they respond to promotions and more.
With the right data your team will have a holistic view and then needs tools need to be in place for you to slice, dice and then report on the metrics that matter to your business. These metrics may include typical measures of customer satisfaction such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or ones that speak to spending habits, revenue per transaction, retention information and more.
Real-time data makes a powerful difference in customer experience as having this data enables the organization to create a climate that makes each customer’s experience positive and productive. The right data can help make customers stick around for years to come.